As foreign companies face obstacles in entering Iran, local tech startups also face challenges from hardline elements within the country's government.
The Orwellian-sounding 'Supreme Council of Cyberspace' is seeking to ensure that increased internet penetration and availability of online services in Iran is coupled with restrictions to ensure compliance with religious interpretations.
What this means practically is that certain content and platforms could find themselves restricted with clear implications for entrepreneurs.
The government is keen to allow access to social media platforms -- one of Rouhani's promises in February's election -- and to allow more companies to provide Internet service to consumers. According to the human rights advocacy group Freedom House, Rouhani's administration has faced challenges from hardliners who are demanding restrictions on Internet connection speeds in order to prevent what they deem "un-Islamic behavior." That means activities like watching foreign films, which some authorities view as harmful to family values. Religious leaders want the government to introduce more content filtering before Internet speeds are increased.